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Michel Legrand|American Piano Music: Gershwin, Bernstein, Barber, Copland, Cage... (-  APEX)

American Piano Music: Gershwin, Bernstein, Barber, Copland, Cage... (- APEX)

Michel Legrand

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Langue disponible : anglais

There are flaws in the execution of this program, but no matter -- it's a rare recording that offers not just one but two original ideas. The first is that there's an energy that's characteristic of American music, whether it comes from the crowd-pleasing crossover sphere of Gershwin and Morton Gould or from the experimentalist quarters of Cage and Nancarrow. That shouldn't have been an earth-shattering revelation, but when was the last time you saw all four of those composers -- plus Amy Beach, Scott Joplin, Copland, MacDowell, Bernstein, Barber, and Louis Moreau Gottschalk -- on the same disc? Perhaps it took a French performer to realize that musical populism and the twentieth century avant-garde had a lot in common; Americans are too much at each other's throats, in classical music as in other fields, to get it. Michel Legrand's second insight here is that French influence is present in a much wider variety of music than is generally supposed. It is startling to see essentially French concepts run through the disc, beginning with the Parisian-trained Gottschalk and his very French musical confrontations with the cultural Other, and running up through MacDowell, who studied in Paris, and the heavily French-influenced Aaron Copland. The segue between the final two tracks, from Gottschalk's Le Banjo to Cage's Bacchanale for prepared piano, relates two pieces that are conventionally thought of as distant from one another, but here the sequence seems utterly natural. The disc doesn't get into the creative relationship between Cage and Boulez that came along in the middle of the century, but anyone studying that period would do well to get hold of this disc and internalize its contents. Certainly problems accompany this step forward. The same liner notes that are full of daring and insightful observations make the bizarre claim that the banjo is an ancestor of the modern guitar. Legrand swings the rhythms of the Maple Leaf Rag of Joplin, despite firm, explicit instructions in the score that the sixteenth notes in its right-hand part should be played evenly. And in general, this famous composer of film music, the creator of the immortal Les parapluies de Cherbourg, is not quite up to the athletic demands of some of the music here, such as the Lisztian octaves in the two Gottschalk works included. Nevertheless, there are few recordings that can singlehandedly make one hear a great deal of music in a whole new way. The disc was recorded and released in France in 1994; its rerelease is most welcome.
© TiVo

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American Piano Music: Gershwin, Bernstein, Barber, Copland, Cage... (- APEX)

Michel Legrand

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1
Prelude for Piano
00:01:16

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Conlon Nancarrow, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

2
3 Preludes: No. 1, Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
00:01:25

George Gershwin, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

3
3 Preludes: No. 2, Andante con moto "Blue Lullaby"
00:02:39

George Gershwin, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

4
3 Preludes: No. 3, Agitato "Spanish Prelude"
00:01:09

George Gershwin, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

5
5 Improvisations for Piano, Op. 148: No. 1
00:01:31

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Amy Beach, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

6
5 Improvisations for Piano, Op. 148: No. 2
00:01:04

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Amy Beach, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

7
5 Improvisations for Piano, Op. 148: No. 3
00:00:47

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Amy Beach, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

8
5 Improvisations for Piano, Op. 148: No. 4
00:01:29

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Amy Beach, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

9
5 Improvisations for Piano, Op. 148: No. 5
00:02:24

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Amy Beach, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

10
Maple Leaf Rag
00:03:07

Scott Joplin, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

11
4 Piano Blues: No. 1, Freely Poetic
00:01:29

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Aaron Copland, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

12
4 Piano Blues: No. 2, Soft and Languid
00:02:04

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Aaron Copland, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

13
4 Piano Blues: No. 3, Muted and Sensuous
00:01:41

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Aaron Copland, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

14
4 Piano Blues: No. 4, With Bounce
00:00:58

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Aaron Copland, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

15
Boogie-Woogie Étude
00:02:17

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Morton GOULD, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

16
Manchega, Op. 38, RO 143
00:03:06

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

17
New England Idyls, Op. 62: I. An Old Garden
00:01:59

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

18
New England Idyls, Op. 62: II. Mid-summer
00:01:37

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

19
New England Idyls, Op. 62: III. Mid-winter
00:02:49

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

20
New England Idyls, Op. 62: IV. With Sweet Lavender
00:02:02

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

21
New England Idyls, Op. 62: V. In Deep Woods
00:02:22

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

22
New England Idyls, Op. 62: VI. Indian Idyl
00:01:46

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

23
New England Idyls, Op. 62: VII. To an Old White Pine
00:01:51

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

24
New England Idyls, Op. 62: VIII. From Puritan Days
00:01:25

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

25
New England Idyls, Op. 62: IX. From a Log Cabin
00:02:37

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

26
New England Idyls, Op. 62: X. The Joy of Autumn
00:02:14

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Edward MacDowell, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

27
5 Anniversaries: No. 1, For Elizabeth Rudolf
00:01:10

Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

28
5 Anniversaries: No. 2, For Lukas Foss
00:01:23

Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

29
5 Anniversaries: No. 3, For Elizabeth B. Ehrman
00:00:39

Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

30
5 Anniversaries: No. 4, For Sandy Gellhorl
00:01:30

Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

31
5 Anniversaries: No. 5, For Susannah Kyle
00:01:12

Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

32
The Entertainer
00:04:35

Scott Joplin, Composer - Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

33
Ballade, Op. 46
00:05:24

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Samuel Barber, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

34
Le banjo, Op. 15, RO 22
00:03:28

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

35
Bacchanale for Prepared Piano
00:08:13

Michel Legrand, Piano, MainArtist - John Cage, Composer

A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, © 2003 Warner Music UK Limited A Warner Classics/Erato Disques release, ℗ 1994 Warner Music UK Limited

Descriptif de l'album

There are flaws in the execution of this program, but no matter -- it's a rare recording that offers not just one but two original ideas. The first is that there's an energy that's characteristic of American music, whether it comes from the crowd-pleasing crossover sphere of Gershwin and Morton Gould or from the experimentalist quarters of Cage and Nancarrow. That shouldn't have been an earth-shattering revelation, but when was the last time you saw all four of those composers -- plus Amy Beach, Scott Joplin, Copland, MacDowell, Bernstein, Barber, and Louis Moreau Gottschalk -- on the same disc? Perhaps it took a French performer to realize that musical populism and the twentieth century avant-garde had a lot in common; Americans are too much at each other's throats, in classical music as in other fields, to get it. Michel Legrand's second insight here is that French influence is present in a much wider variety of music than is generally supposed. It is startling to see essentially French concepts run through the disc, beginning with the Parisian-trained Gottschalk and his very French musical confrontations with the cultural Other, and running up through MacDowell, who studied in Paris, and the heavily French-influenced Aaron Copland. The segue between the final two tracks, from Gottschalk's Le Banjo to Cage's Bacchanale for prepared piano, relates two pieces that are conventionally thought of as distant from one another, but here the sequence seems utterly natural. The disc doesn't get into the creative relationship between Cage and Boulez that came along in the middle of the century, but anyone studying that period would do well to get hold of this disc and internalize its contents. Certainly problems accompany this step forward. The same liner notes that are full of daring and insightful observations make the bizarre claim that the banjo is an ancestor of the modern guitar. Legrand swings the rhythms of the Maple Leaf Rag of Joplin, despite firm, explicit instructions in the score that the sixteenth notes in its right-hand part should be played evenly. And in general, this famous composer of film music, the creator of the immortal Les parapluies de Cherbourg, is not quite up to the athletic demands of some of the music here, such as the Lisztian octaves in the two Gottschalk works included. Nevertheless, there are few recordings that can singlehandedly make one hear a great deal of music in a whole new way. The disc was recorded and released in France in 1994; its rerelease is most welcome.
© TiVo

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